NRL News

Latest Polls Show No Clear Republican Favorite

by | Dec 21, 2011

By Dave Andrusko

(Left to Right) Former Speaker Newt Gingrich, Rep. Ron Paul, Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney

With exactly two weeks to go before Iowa’s January 3 caucuses and three weeks before New Hampshire’s January 10 primary, there seems to be no clear favorite nationally or in Iowa, with a large percentage of Republicans saying either that they have not made up their mind or are willing to change their mind.

A new Washington Post-ABC News poll of Republicans nationally, released today, paralleled the results of others released yesterday. Among Republicans and Republican-leaning independents Gingrich and Romney are each favored by 30% with Rep. Ron Paul at third with 15% (roughly double what he had in early November). “Romney has a 10-point advantage on the key question of who Republicans think is most likely to beat Obama,” according to the Post’s Jon Cohen and Dan Balz.  On the other hand, Gingrich enjoys a 14% lead—35% to 22%- over Romney among those who consider themselves “very conservative.”

Gallup reported Monday that Gingrich and Romney are essentially tied (26% to 24%) with Rep. Paul running third with 11%. CNN’s weekend poll found Gingrich and Romney tied with 28% each, and  Paul in third with 14%.

Former Speaker Newt Gingrich had enjoyed a sensational run, pulling ahead by 15% over former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney–37% to 22%–roughly two and a half weeks ago.

In Iowa, as we discussed yesterday, there are conflicting poll results. There is much skepticism about the results from PPP, a Democratic pollster, which found Rep. Paul in the lead with 23%, to 20% for Romney, 14% for Gingrich, and 10% each for former Senator Rick Santorum,  Rep. Michele Bachmann, and  Texas Gov. Rick Perry. However another poll, by Insider Advantage, also found Paul in the lead with 24%, to 18% for Romney, 16% for Perry, 13% for Gingrich, and 10% for Bachmann.

Pollster Charlie Cook, writing in National Journal today, concludes

“It seems that Paul has the best field organization. Santorum has committed the most time to going the most places—all 99 counties in Iowa as of a week or so ago. Bachmann has her own cadre of passionate backers. Romney has a strong but low-profile structure working on his behalf as well.”

Gingrich, who has been on the receiving end of a barrage of brutal ads, announced that over the next five days he will make 44 appearances in an attempt to rebut the criticisms. Stay tuned.

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Categories: Politics